Thursday, July 16, 2015

BOOK REVIEW- Among the Fair Magnolias

In the most turbulent decade of our nation's history, four Southern women—their destinies forged by birth and heritage—face near impossible choices on their journeys in life . . . and in love.
To Mend a Dream by Tamera Alexander
Savannah Darby would do almost anything to revisit her family home. So when new owner, Aidan Bedford, a Boston attorney and former Union soldier, seeks to redecorate the house for his fiancée, Savannah jumps at the opportunity. But the clock is ticking. Can she find the box her father supposedly hid there during the war before her assignment is completed? And before she sees yet another battle lost on the home front. This time, a battle of the heart.
An Outlaw's Heart by Shelley Gray
Seven years ago, Russell Champion was betrayed by the two most important women in his life. Now Russell returns home, but is it too late to make amends with his mother and find closure with his true love?
A Heart So True by Dorothy Love
Abigail Clayton hopes to reconcile with Dr. Wade Bennett and become his wife. But her father insists she marry her distant cousin Charles Kittridge so that the plantations of the two families will be joined. Abby knows things about Charles that her father doesn't, and with her wedding looming, she must choose between duty to her family and the yearnings of her own heart.
Love Beyond Limits by Elizabeth Musser
Emily Derracott loves her childhood friend Thomas McGinnis, but she cannot marry a man who doesn't share her strong convictions about the freedmen. Besides, she harbors a secret love for someone else. But the prospect of becoming his wife is not improbable. It is completely impossible.

My thoughts on each book:

To Mend a Dream- 
This  is the story that I really wanted to read and was so hoping I wouldn't be disappointed with it.  I was introduced to Savannah Darby in a different book.  She was one of the best friends to the main character in that book. And I wanted to know what happened to her after she was forced to to leave her home because it was going to be sold at auction.   There were several sweet twists towards the end of the book.  I enjoyed her story.

An Outlaw's Heart -  I really liked this one.  The pain that both of the main characters went through was almost palatable.  Russell had such a miserable childhood and had to leave home at 15.  There was just more hard times ahead of him but he managed to still retain much of his goodness.  Even if he didn't recognize it and kept many of his feelings hidden so he wouldn't be hurt again.  Nora has also suffered loneliness and some regrets.  She wasn't sure she would ever see Russell again, but she still cared for him.  But of course that doesn't mean all their problems magically all go away.

A Heart So True - This story was okay, it really was a struggle between love and duty.  It made it harder for Abigail because she really despised Charles.  Not only that but she knew him to be not as sterling of character as others thought him.  Even her own father, couldn't understand Abby's dislike of him, and tried to force things to his way of thinking.  He felt he was right, her desires didn't count and she better get in line with it.

Love Beyond Limits -   This story in the book was okay.  It was well written when it comes to the feelings and challenges of the times.  At times it felt a bit heavy probably because of the seriousness and danger of those times.  There is Scripture in the story, but that didn't feel like too much to me.  There was a nice twist and turn in the story towards the end.

All in all I'd say it was a Mixed Bag when it comes to how I liked the book.  Some I liked more than others.  My Favorites?   I'd have to say, "To Mend a Dream", and "An Outlaw's Heart."

I received a copy of this book in via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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